Lockheed Martin has over 3,100 F-35s on order, meaning that the world’s skies could soon be crowded with variations on the same advanced warplane.
But there are lots of other amazing military planes out there. And they’re cool for all kinds of reasons: stealth, long range, armaments, manoeuvrability — or just for looking cool.
Whether it’s a sleek design, or pure unadulterated deadliness, these are the best and baddest planes in the air today.
This post was originally by Geoffrey Ingersoll.
The Chengdu J-20 is China's first 5th-generation fighter. Little is known about it other than that the Chinese want it to have stealth -- and that it looks a bit like a spaceship.
Though expensive and reliably dysfunctional, the F-35 has vertical take-off and landing capability, stealth, and highly advanced targeting capabilities.
The Eurofighter Typhoon is arguably one of the best birds out right now, and is competing with the F-18 Super Hornet for sales around the world.
Sukhoi PAK FA T-50 is Russia's best hope so far for an answer to the F-22 and F-35. But there are still very few of them in the skies.
The Saab Gripen, designed by BAE and Swedish Saab engineering, is capable of both manned and unmanned flight.
The Mikoyan MiG-35 was designed to replace the MiG-29 with the hopes of breaking into the international market.
The Indian 'Tejas' is designed with 'relaxed static stability' for extra-steady manoeuvrability. Anything that relaxed must be pretty cool.
Japan's Kowasaki Ninja: Anything named 'ninja' that has missiles makes the list of the world's coolest aircraft, hands down.
The F-18 Super Hornet is one of the most reliable birds in the sky, and competes with the likes of the Typhoon and the Saab Gripen.
The US Army's Black Hawk is by far one of the most fun rides in the military. It flies low and fast, and its pilots are definitely hotshots.
The A-10 Warthog is the envy of the entire globe and maybe the greatest close-air support aircraft ever flown.
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